Last month, McDonald's introduced a line of Happy Meal toys featuring Nintendo mascots like Mario and Donkey Kong. As part of the company's image-reworking emphasis on fitness, each of the toys had a physical activity focus.
Today, McDonald's rival Burger King officially announced a campaign that takes a different tack to a gaming tie-in. Instead of offering toys that evoke games and promote activity, the fast-food chain is going to offer three Xbox and Xbox 360 games of its own this holiday season, each of them slathered with Burger King branding like so much mayonnaise on a Double Whopper with cheese.
Burger King's plans to get into gaming were originally leaked in April by a company doing market research for the fast-food chain.
Pocketbike Racer will feature a number of Burger King mascots, including the King, the Subservient Chicken, the Whopper Jr., and former host of E!'s Wild On series, Brooke Burke. Five levels will be included, as will multiplayer races for four people on the same Xbox or Xbox 360, or eight people online over Xbox Live.
Big Bumpin' also takes a lineup of BK mascots and pits them against one another in vehicular competition, but this game isn't a race so much as a bumper-car ride. The game features a number of theme-park settings and on-track hazards like saws and bottomless pits, as well as bump-pumping power-ups. Big Bumpin' will also have four-player action and online multiplayer support.
Finally, Sneak King takes the stealth action genre and puts it to a friendlier use than usual. Instead of tiptoeing behind enemy guards to silently snap their necks, players will sneak up on hungry people to surprise them with offerings of Burger King food. Gamers will have to sneak up on people in a logging yard, a construction site, downtown, and the suburbs, and they will be graded on their performance "based on how elaborate the delivery is executed."
This is not the King's first visit to the world of gaming. The genuinely off-putting monarch of meat appeared in Electronic Arts' Fight Night Round 3 as an unlockable manager character to accompany your boxer to the ring.
The three games will be playable on either the Xbox or Xbox 360. They will be available from November 19 through December 24 at participating Burger King locations for $3.99 with the purchase of a value meal. All of the games are rated E for Everybody.
[UPDATE] It appears that the fast-food promotional tie-in isn't the only first that can be attributed to these games. "These are not backward-compatible original Xbox games, but truly designed and developed for each platform separately," the Burger King representative said. "There are two versions on each disc, specifically made for each platform. This has never been done before for a title."
[UPDATE 10/3] The Burger King representative contacted GameSpot this morning to correct a previous statement. It turns out that the three games will have achievements for the Xbox 360 after all.